Discovering Ice Age Americans: A Trip to Blackwater Draw
[Filled.] [2 days/1 night, overnight in Portales, New Mexico]
Friday, April 3–Saturday, April 4, 2015
The Blackwater Draw Site is widely recognized among scholars and the interested public as one of the most significant archaeological sites in North America. Toward the end of the last ice age, about 13,500 years ago, pioneering groups of hunter-gatherers encountered an oasis at Blackwater Draw – a spring-fed pond frequented by herds of mammoth and giant bison. The site became a recurring hunting ground and camp area for these people. In 1932 archaeologists and local volunteers discovered their remains along with a number of mammoth skeletons, and identified the Clovis culture. This discovery, along with the Folsom site in northeastern New Mexico, helped establish the Pleistocene antiquity of humans in the Americas. Clovis still stands as one of the oldest archaeological cultures identified in the New World. Further investigations over the past 70 years have identified more Clovis evidence, along with remains of later cultures that continued to frequent the site for several thousand years.
For this field trip, Archaeologist David Kilby, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Eastern New Mexico University, will be our expert guide. The trip includes a close-up view of artifacts from the site, plus a guided tour. Dr. Kilby completed his doctoral dissertation on Clovis caches and caching behavior at the University of New Mexico, which reflects an ongoing research focus on paleoindian archaeology and lithic technology. His current research includes continued investigation of Clovis caches, as well as ongoing investigations of archaeology, geomorphology, and paleoenvironments at the Blackwater Draw site, where he has just completed a third field season with the ENMU Archaeological Field School. The field school at BWD has resulted in the exposure of two stratified Paleoindian-age bison bone beds, and the discovery of a discrete Late Prehistoric camp site.
Activity Level: Moderate, some walking at the Blackwater Draw site.
Fee: $250 per person (double occupancy) or $310 per person (single occupancy). Includes transportation, all meals, guide honorarium, overnight accommodation at the Holiday Inn Express in Portales, NM, and entrance fees.
Download the 2015 Spring Field Trip Registration Form